Copyright 2017 Kailin Gow
In light of all the women coming out to finally talk about the seemingly long-standing and "accepted" bad behavior of men in power at Entertainment companies, I have a confession myself. No, I was never harassed by Harvey Weinstein, nor have I met him.
But in my youth as a young woman and even as a teen, I have been "hit" on by people in the "industry" or even belittled due to being "cute" and for just being a woman. In auditions I went to, to being a producer on a set (where the director's father kissed me for no reason) and I had to walk off the set.
As an author, I've been "hit on" by publishers and agents, even quite recently (despite me being happily married).
Of course, I was always shocked and appalled this kind of behavior existed. As a woman, it also brings out the insecurity that women have in thinking maybe it was their fault. As a woman who even does not consider herself as a "babe" or "hot", I could tell you, it has nothing to do with what a woman wears and how she acts. No one has the ability or the power to make you feel small, weak, and powerless just because they are the ones who caused the bad behavior.
So as a mother of a girl and the aunt of several nieces; I am speaking up to say, take back the power. Own your own businesses, do your own thing, and be a success at it!
I became an independent publisher and also started my own award-winning production company so I don't have to put up with that bad behavior. Not because I couldn't get published with them as I have sold as much or even more books than many authors published through big name publishers and have won the same awards as those whose books are on recommended lists to read at schools. With other 5.5 million books sold and over $1 million as an author made; I can say it is possible to be successful in entertainment and writing without having to compromise and give in to bad behavior from others.
For any change to occur for women and even men (One of my male actor friend who is well-known as an action figure actor came out to say he had been sexually harassed in Hollywood to his shock and surprised when it happened), women and men should stop the slut-shaming, as well as take any allegations seriously. I commend the production companies and corporations which took action against Weinstein and other sexual predators masquerading as dream makers in Hollywood for being proactive and helping women (and men) break their silence and stop living in fear.
As a publisher and also an author who writes romance as one of my genres, I also want to say I am appalled when a male model approaches me at a signing or knows who I am, and tries to flirt or touch me, as if this will help them get a job with me. I don't know where they get the idea they must kiss up to women executives or authors this way, but I think women execs and women in power have the obligation to stay professional just like our male counterparts must stay professional.
Lastly, for all those women who opened up their own businesses, took up the helm to become independent publishers or production companies like I did, I applaud you for taking the power back into your hands. Critics of Indie Authors, publishers, and filmmakers, who criticize women indie companies, should realize they are not helping women gain independence and power, but are adding to the oppression of women by saying, "You are Only somebody when you get published or are in a traditional or Big Name Hollywood production." Not true.
Because as everyone should know...the Weinstein Company (which Harvey Weinstein co-founded) is known for producing INDEPENDENT FILMS! Yet, it is also so powerful that many have feared speaking up about Harvey Weinstein for years.
Take care and God Bless!